Ok ok, I know you all are thinking “wait, she’s featuring 2 pastiera recipes?!” (I featured the pastiera Napoletana last week). Well the answer is yes! For this post, we’re travelling to Molise. The Molisana version of pastiera is quite different from the pastiera Napoletana. They may look similar, but the only thing that’s the same about them is the crust. While the Napoletani fill their pastiera with ricotta and wheat, the Molisan version is filled with cream and rice pudding (can you say yum?!).
Just like its Neapolitan counterpart, my mom only started making this dessert once she immigrated from Italy. This stems from being friends with Italians in Vancouver that hail from various regions of Italy. To me, this is one of the amazing things about Vancouver’s Italian community. You can find anyone from almost any Italian region in this city. This diversity and sharing of recipes is what helped shaped our Easter traditions as Italians in Vancouver. We may not have Molisan origins- but we’re making a Molisan dessert! That’s what being an Italian in Vancouver is all about, after all.
This recipe comes from the ultimate Molisana herself- my mom’s friend Lucy.
The combination of cream and rice pudding makes for a delectable dessert. The Molisani definitely got this recipe down!
Once again, I hit up Cioffi’s to get my arborio rice that is used in this recipe. I find that arborio is perfect for this recipe, as its high starch content will contribute to the perfect creamy texture for the filling.
What are your Easter baking traditions?
- 500 g flour
- 250 g butter
- 200 g icing sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 litres milk
- 3/4 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- Rind from 1 lemon (try to get this in one long piece of you can)
- 7 egg yolks
- 7 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons of flour
- 3/4 litres of milk
- Rind from 1 lemon (try to get this in one piece if you can)
- In a mixer, mix flour and butter until a sand-like consistency is achieved. Then place your flour mixture on a working surface and sift the icing sugar on to the flour mixture. Create a well in the center of the icing sugar. Add the egg yolks to the well and start mixing ingredients together with a fork. Once the egg yolks have absorbed enough flour, you can continue mixing with your hands. Work the dough with your hands until the ingredients are mixed together, and you are able to form a ball with the dough. Wrap it in saran wrap. Place the ball of dough in the fridge for at least 30 mins to allow it to set.
- In a large pot, heat the milk until it comes to a boil. Add the salt, sugar, lemon rind and stir. Add the rice and stir at medium heat, about 1 hour. Note- you will need to stir the rice constantly so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot, especially towards the end. The consistency should be like that of a rice pudding- but not too dense, as it will cook more in the oven.
- In an electric mixer, beat the yolks and sugar together. Add the flour and mix well. Then add the milk and mix until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a pot, add the lemon rind, and let it cook on the stove on low heat until it starts to bubble, about 15 minutes.
- When both the cream and rice pudding have cooled, gently combine them in a large bowl. I used a spoon and gently folded the cream into the rice pudding. Take out your dough from the fridge, and use a flat, floured surface and rolling pin to roll it out. The thickness of the dough should be about 0.2 inches. Transfer the dough to a pie dish and cut off any edges that hang off the pie dish. Spoon in your rice and cream mixture. With any leftover dough, cut long strips to top the pastiera with. Take these strips and make a criss-cross pattern on top of the pastiera.
- Bake for 2 hours in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit.